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Discussion Starter #1
The top four for most of the season and still all in the top five have been Bristol City, Stoke City, West Brom and Watford. A look at the form of these sides is very revealing. Bristol City have one win in their last eight games. Stoke City have just two wins in their last nine games. West Brom have two wins in their last eight and Watford have one win in eleven. Hull City gate crashed the party with four straight wins, but now they’ve got there, they can only manage a home draw with QPR.

Although there are some few examples of teams coming up from the Championship and succeeding in the Premier League, there are far more examples of teams struggling rather badly. In fact, the three teams usually held up of examples of how a promoted team can prosper are Portsmouth, Reading and Wigan Athletic. A glance at the table will show that the latter two teams are sitting fifth and sixth from bottom. Is that how success is measured?

It's all very well battering Championship opponents with the blunt instrument of free kicks and 40-yard throw-ins hurled in flat. They may bully the unwary with players who are prime physical specimens. But if Stoke are not good enough to dispose of Blackpool, they won't be good enough for Liverpool. The prospect of Fernando Torres meeting the likes of the musclebound Leon Cort is the stuff of comedy.

The Championship is a sea of mediocrity. Teams are built around loan signings, has-beens and never-will-bes. Bristol City, finally succumbing to the strain of overachievement, best capture the overwhelming sense of anonymity. Go on. Name three of their players, without peeking at the line-up elsewhere on these pages. The same could be said for Hull, who find themselves third, although we will hear more of Fraizer Campbell, our young United striker learning on the job.

Watford are markedly worse than they were last season, when Aidy Boothroyd knew instinctively they were down by Christmas. He has sold his only players of Premier League quality - Ashley Young and Marlon King. West Bromwich Albion, by common consent the most naturally talented team, concede soft goals from set-pieces. Only veteran Kevin Phillips - 21 goals in 29 matches - protects them from the sort of slump which cost them promotion last season. The £40million will come in handy for those who are promoted, but let's get one thing clear. It's the price of almost certain humiliation.

Speaking of that, West Brom are set to go up if they are able to win their upcoming game next week. Here's a table to the Coca-Cola Championship this season: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_div_1/table/default.stm
 

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Good post mate. The play-offs will be very interesting to watch and I predict that West Brom, Stoke and Hull will make it or maybe even Bristol will sneak in..tough call but good entertainment!
 

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Hmmm ... I've said since the beginning of the season West Brom, Watford and Wolves.

But I'm going to say WBrom, Stoke and Watford now.
 

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Cheers for the thread Rd4.
The Championship is very exciting again this year.
West Brom will go up, they have a great team and play attractive,
attacking football so Ill be glad when they come back up.
They deserve to be in the Prem.

Im very surprised and happy with the likes of Hull, Stoke and Bristol City.
If one of those teams made it up, it would be nothing short of a miracle.
Stories like their season is why football is so great and it gives ANY team
hope that they can emulate them in the future.

Watford have had a strange season. Great at the start and they will be lucky to
stay in the playoff places after going into freefall.

Crystal Palace have made a great surge up the table after a rotten start to the
season. A lot of this is down to Neil Warnock's ability to get the best from his
players. Clinton Morrison has stepped up also with some vital goals.

Biggest surprise is Charlton. I think most people tipped them to come straight
up this season as winners. The loss of their captain Reid has not helped them.

Going down are Scun thorpe and Colchester, which isnt a great surprise, but the
3rd team that follows them will more than likely be a 'big' team. Its always
sad to see big teams and great clubs go down into League 1, unless its Leeds
of course ;-)

It could be one of Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, giant killers Barnsley,
Leicester, Norwich or Coventry. All these teams were good in their day and still
have huge follwings so it will be very sad for one of these great clubs.

Who I believe will get promoted:
West Brom
Stoke
Palace
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, WBA is the very first for the promotion. With 5 points clear of 3rd, 2 games left to play and with Southampton to play who are very poor, they are very likely to win the Coca-Cola championship title.
While next I believe is Stoke City who are currently 2 points clear of 3rd again with 2 games left and with Colchester to play who are relegated they should win.
And for the last spot, I gunnin' for either an in-form Crystal Palace side or a young but talented Hull City. ;)
 

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West Brom are the best team in the Championship and I reckon they're capable of staying in the Prem when they get promoted.

I'm hoping Stoke go up because I know a lad in Stoke and am hoping for the opportunity to take the mickey when we beat them 5-0 at Old Trafford :D

It'd be interesting to see whether Frazier Campbell would be sent back on loan to Hull if they get promoted.

Watford have blown it imo, which surprises me because I think they have a good manager.
 

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Promotion to the Prem-How it stands:

West Brom need a point from their last 2 games to get promoted. They play
Saints on Monday so it could happen then or vs QPR.

Stoke need a point vs Leicester in their last game to get promoted.

Hull City and Bristol City are guaranteed a playoff spot. Hull have an outside shot at automatic promotion.

Watford and Palace will be guaranteed a playoff spot if they win their last game.
but they have Wolves, Ipswich and Sheffield United ready to pounce if they
slip up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bridging The Promotion Gap

Source: Goal.com



Graham Lister of Goal.com looks at the race for promotion to the Barclays English Premier League and considers the fate that awaits the 'lucky' three Championship clubs...

With only the last game remaining (two for WBA & Southampton), the race to win promotion from the Championship to the Premier League remains wide open and destined to go right down to the wire, with a mere three points separating the first three teams, eleven separating the top seven - and 13 clubs still in with a mathematical chance of going up.

Two teams will be promoted automatically, with the next four clubs going into the play-offs.

Such congestion in the top half of the table makes for an exciting and highly unpredictable promotion battle, earning the Coca Cola Football League Championship kudos as the place for spectators who love thrills and spills and a lack of foregone conclusions to go. But at the same time, with these clubs all capable of taking points off each other, it means no team is exhibiting outstanding quality or consistency.

And that in turn begs the question: will the prize these hopefuls are striving for - Premier League status - prove impossible to hang on to for more than one season?

As the Premier League has evolved on the back of the incredible money it generates, so the gap between it and the Football League has widened to a chasm which is in danger of becoming unbridgeable.

There is already an unhealthy polarisation within the Premier League between the 'Big Four' and the rest, with the prospects of the title going to any club other than those four increasingly remote. The aspirations of Everton and Tottenham Hotspur to expand the Big Four to the Big Five or Six remain just that, aspirations, while the likes of Aston Villa, Portsmouth and Manchester City are, at the moment, at a different (lower) level again.

But the biggest contrast in resources and prospects in English football is that between the bottom of the Premiership and the top of the Championship, as Derby County have been the latest to discover. The Rams were promoted last May via the play-offs, and have spent this season proving themselves to be the worst side in Premier League history, woefully ill-equipped to keep pace even with the League's other strugglers.

Derby became the first club in England to be relegated this season when they drew 2-2 with Fulham on 29th March. They are currently 16 points behind Fulham, who are 19th in the table and in grave danger of going down themselves, and 20 points adrift of the 'safety' represented by Birmingham, who are precariously placed just above the drop zone in 17th, and who were themselves promoted automatically last season along with Sunderland. Both have had a season of struggle, though the Black Cats now look like surviving. If so it will be a case of third-time lucky for the Wearsiders, whose two previous promotions saw them endure nightmare top-flight seasons, crashing straight back down and setting unwanted records that Derby are about to relieve them of.

In recent seasons the likes of Watford, Sheffield United, Norwich, West Bromwich Albion, Wolves and Leicester have all found the step up to the higher level too big to handle, and promptly slid back down to the Football League. The fact that they do so laden, relatively speaking, with cash from the Premier League at least softens the blow and gives them, at least in theory, an immediate advantage over the rest of the Championship sides.

Fans of upwardly mobile Championship clubs have to get used to the roller-coaster ride of a successful promotion season followed by a demoralising relegation campaign (when they are routinely patronised by the media telling them what a thrill it is for them to visit Anfield and Old Trafford or to host Arsenal and Chelsea), followed, if they are lucky, by another reasonably successful one in the smaller pool.

It is self-evident that the longer a club can survive in the top flight, the greater its chances of being successful, at that level. Of the current top ten in the Premier League, only Portsmouth and West Ham have been in the top flight for less than five complete consecutive seasons, and Pompey are about to complete their fifth. Of the eight clubs who have been in the top flight since the last century, six are in the League's current top seven.

Current Premier League Table Showing Year Of Promotion To The Top Flight

1 Manchester United (1975)
2 Chelsea (1989)
3 Arsenal (1919)
4 Liverpool (1962)

5 Everton (1954)
6 Portsmouth (2003)
7 Aston Villa (1988)
8 Manchester City (2002)
9 Blackburn Rovers (2001)
10 West Ham (2005)
11 Tottenham Hotspur (1978)
12 Newcastle (1993)
13 Middlesbrough (1998)
14 Sunderland (2007)
15 Wigan (2005)
16 Reading (2006)
17 Birmingham (2007)

18 Bolton (2001)
19 Fulham (2001)
20 Derby (2007)

So, who are this season's promotion contenders, and what are their prospects of survival should they make it to the Premier League?

Leading the way, just, are FA Cup semi-finalists West Bromwich Albion, with 74 points out of 129 played for (57%). Generally described as "the best footballing side in the Championship," Albion play an attractive, attacking game under Tony Mowbray, and as a club if not a squad they have recent Premier League experience. They were promoted in 2002 but lasted just one season at the higher level, then were immediately promoted again and spent 2004-05 and 2005-06 in the Premier League. Last season they missed out to Derby in the play-offs and this time they look like regaining top-flight status, making them a classic yo-yo club. But given that they have lost 11 times in the Championship this season, drawn a further 11 and conceded 54 goals (admittedly while scoring 85) they don't look the soundest bet, defensively. Every team in the top flight needs to score goals frequently to survive there, and Kevin Phillips, now at he veteran stage, has netted 24 times for the Baggies in all competitions this season, while Roman Bednar (17), Ishmael Miller (pictured, 16), Zoltan Gera and Robert Koren (nine apiece) have also contributed significantly. But will the Baggies;' prolific attack find Premier League defences so accommodating? The Hawthorns, by the way, can hold just under 28,000.

Hull is the answer to the familiar pub quiz question: 'Which is the largest city in England never to have hosted top-flight league football', but Hull City (75 points) could be about to change that. The Tigers are currently second and have come with a late surge up the table that has seen them lose just two of their last 16 games under manager Phil Brown, who was Sam Allardyce's assistant at Bolton before a brief and ill-starred spell at the helm for Derby. Another veteran striker, Dean Windass, has scored 13 goals for Hull, while Frazier Campbell has hit 14. The Tigers have also lost 11 games, and drawn 12, giving them a win percentage of 47%. Hull's KC Stadium, opened in 2002, holds just over 25,000.

Of the four teams currently occupying the play-off places, Hull City (3rd, 75 points, managed by Phil Brown) were last in the top-flight in 1985. Bristol City (4th, 71 points) were promoted from League One last season so are on a roll under manager Gary Johnson, but with a goal difference of zero (scored 49, conceded 49), you fear for their credentials in the top flight. The Robins, incidentally, spent four seasons in the old First Division from 1976 to 1980, but the capacity of their Ashton Gate ground is less than 22,000, also suggesting that they may struggle to compete at the top level.

Fifth-placed Watford (69 points) were relegated from the Premier League last season, and are bidding to get back at the first attempt - to their board's credit, under the same manager, Aidy Boothroyd. The Hornets have flirted with top spot all season but been woefully inconsistent, winning only eight of their 21 home games (drawing seven and losing six) which is why they are not in the automatic promotion places. There is little to suggest that, should the Vicarage Road club (capacity 19,920) make it back up, they will fare much better than they did before, when they lasted just one season.

In sixth place at the moment are Crystal Palace (68 points), who were relegated from the Premiership in 2005 when Iain Dowie was still manager. Neil Warnock is the boss there now, and he has done well to steer them into play-off contention, although they've won only 16 of their 43 matches, drawing 17 and losing ten.

Palace's maverick chairman, Simon Jordan, has just announced that he has secured the lease of their Selhurst Park ground (capacity 26,225) for the next 25 years, but also revealed that his long-term plan is to relocate nearby.

"I'd like to see Palace move away from Selhurst Park, I'd like to stay in the Borough [of Croydon] and I'd like us to move to a stadium which is more befitting of the ambitions we have for the club," said Jordan. One of those ambitions is to get back into the top flight, though with their present squad it is debatable how long they would stay there.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
And that highlights the dilemma for all clubs targeting the land of milk and money that is The Premier League.

The squads they need to battle their way out of the Championship are generally not well-enough equipped to hold their own in the more rarefied atmosphere of the Premier League, where sweat are not enough. Quality is needed, especially in attack, and that costs money. Although promotion brings with it a huge financial windfall for any upwardly mobile club, there are two key problems.

The first is that, even with the promise of new riches that membership of the elite bestows, newcomers are way behind the longer-standing Premier League members financially, so they are not competing on a level playing field.

The second is that, if they give in to the temptation to recruit high quality players they have to offer them competitive (ie exorbitant, in Championship terms) wages. The high risk is that a newly-promoted club will go back down soon afterwards, and although the 'parachute' payments to relegated clubs are designed to soften the landing, the last thing the chairman of a relegated club wants is to be saddled with a clutch of players locked in to lengthy contracts on Premier League wages.

However, if promoted clubs don't invest in their squads they will find gravity impossible to resist in their first season. It is a delicate balancing act. A club like Watford, for example, refused last season to commit potential financial suicide (by following the trail blazed by Leeds United), and effectively budgeted for relegation, which duly arrived. The Hornets weren't crippled financially by the experience, but the question then is whether their fans are happy with occasional one-season sittings at the top table.

Meanwhile, just outside the play-off places, but still with a chance of breaking into them, are Ipswich Town (66 points), who boast the Championship's best home record but one of its worst away; Wolverhampton Wanderers (67) and the club who challenged their controversial demotion last season, Sheffield United (66).

Leadership of the Championship has changed hands all season like a hot potato, with none of the contenders showing the quality or consistency to take the Division by the scruff of the neck, as Reading did in 2004-05. Things can change, especially during the summer transfer window; but the suspicion is that the Premiership's May 2008 intake, whichever three clubs it comprises, may be in for a brief stay.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
fazman said:
thanks for that rd4l really intresting not !! we want short posts not essays
I'm just sharing other articles which I come across from elsewhere regarding this topic about the promotion from the Coca-Cola Championship to the Premier League that I honestly think may be good for others here. Who is this we, may I ask you? Do not assume. Obviously it only applies on you yourself, not the rest of the members in this forum. Really who gives a damn whether it's a short post or a long-written article? I certainly don't. On the other hand, I suggest you to get off my back. I really have no wish for this to escalate into a pathetic argument, where the end result is nothing, which results for this thread to be closed.
 

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red_devils4life said:
I'm just sharing other articles which I come across from elsewhere regarding this topic about the promotion from the Coca-Cola Championship to the Premier League that I honestly think may be good for others here. Who is this we, may I ask you? Do not assume. Obviously it only applies on you yourself, not the rest of the members in this forum. Really who gives a damn whether it's a short post or a long-written article? I certainly don't. On the other hand, I suggest you to get off my back. I really have no wish for this to escalate into a pathetic argument, where the end result is nothing, which results for this thread to be closed.
I aint even going to argue with u as you may copy some offensive words from another site to argue with me
 

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fazman said:
I aint even going to argue with u as you may copy some offensive words from another site to argue with me
Well then DONT!!!!
Im sick of threads I like being wrecked over petty arguments.
If you dont want to read his posts then DONT, its simple really.
Just leave it now Faz, you know what happened the last time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
fazman said:
red-devil4life I dont care if u dont like me but your posts are all over the forum and most are copys do u ever do anything original of your own
I seriously hope that you do not continue hurling groundless accusations at me without any concrete evidences in the very first place. It's clear to others that you are only provoking me with those insinuating remarks which you have cited; while me on the other hand, is trying my best to keep my cool & stop engaging in such a pointless argument that you have started in this thread. Since you also know there will be no end to these petty squabbles, why not stop with all these nonsense from you once and for all?
 

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Justice said:
None of them are anywhere near good enough for the PL, 3 new Derby's.
West Brom can play a bit. If they buy a few more players onto their already
decent-ish team, they might do ok.
They play attacking, attractive football so at least they will be decent to watch
unlike Derby.
 

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Jazz 16 said:
Well then DONT!!!!
Im sick of threads I like being wrecked over petty arguments.
If you dont want to read his posts then DONT, its simple really.
Just leave it now Faz, you know what happened the last time.

Jazz if it was you that banned me last time your sad mate abit of banter is what this sites about
 
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